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How many different schools of Buddhism are there?

BreathingSince72BreathingSince72 Vacaville, CA USA New

I am just curious...how many different schools of Buddhism are there? I have heard of a few whilst perusing the posts here. It kind of reminds me of the denominationalism in Christianity...like a different flavor for everyone.

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Loads. Some are extinct. Very similar to Christian or Islamic factions.

    There are even hybrid JewBu ddhists
    http://www.jewbu.net/

    ... and my own non kosher denomination that no one is allowed to join including me ...
    http://yinyana.tumblr.com/day/2013/06/10

    BreathingSince72
  • howhow Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @BreathingSince72

    Who knows?
    Sometimes it seems as if there is as many different schools here as there are members
    but with a closer inspection you might see that the various different schools are actually just the different facets of the same jewel we call the Buddha/Dharma/Sangha.

    Bunks
  • @BreathingSince72 said:
    I am just curious...how many different schools of Buddhism are there? I have heard of a few whilst perusing the posts here. It kind of reminds me of the denominationalism in Christianity...like a different flavor for everyone.

    Yes, there is something to suit every taste!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schools_of_Buddhism

    lobster
  • BreathingSince72BreathingSince72 Vacaville, CA USA New

    I know who Buddha is. I infer from previous reading that a Sangha is a group of Buddhists. Does the word Dharma represent the path or acts?

  • howhow Veteran

    @BreathingSince72 said:
    I know who Buddha is. I infer from previous reading that a Sangha is a group of Buddhists. Does the word Dharma represent the path or acts?

    For me, because the Dharma is whatever leads one towards suffering's cessation, it can be one or the other or both.

    BreathingSince72
  • @BreathingSince72 said:> I know who Buddha is. I infer from previous reading that a Sangha is a group of Buddhists. Does the word Dharma represent the path or acts?

    Traditionally there are the three jewels, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. "Dharma" here means the teaching of the Buddha.

  • Boy does that question depend on a lot of things. Is Tibetan Buddhism counted as one school, when there are at least 4 schools under that column sometimes at war with each other? And Japanese Zen has either two main or dozens of schools, depending on how you want to define them.

    If you ask how many different sects or churches there are in Christianity, it depends on if you want to count all the little churches started by one guy with a Bible or just the main categories.

    BreathingSince72
  • BreathingSince72BreathingSince72 Vacaville, CA USA New

    Well, I suppose that as long as the focus is polishing your jewels, sect or school becomes irrelevant.

    RuddyDuck9
  • BreathingSince72BreathingSince72 Vacaville, CA USA New
    edited June 2016

    @Cinorjer said:
    Boy does that question depend on a lot of things. Is Tibetan Buddhism counted as one school, when there are at least 4 schools under that column sometimes at war with each other? And Japanese Zen has either two main or dozens of schools, depending on how you want to define them.

    If you ask how many different sects or churches there are in Christianity, it depends on if you want to count all the little churches started by one guy with a Bible or just the main categories.

    There are ALOT of main categories, even within the main categories of the Christian church, to say nothing of the dude with a bible that starts a church...really ALOT. I guess it should not be surprising that there are so many sects or schools in other religions.

    Would you guys say that mahayana buddhism is a good starting point for study? I am open to suggestions.

  • howhow Veteran

    @BreathingSince72

    I think one of the most interesting starting points in a study of the Dharma has more to do with how we can manifest any of those studies than with brain filler.

    As far as which of the various Buddhist schools or lineages or sects to start with, I have found value in them all.......... so I would simply let your interests dictate the directions of your explorations.

    BreathingSince72person
  • @BreathingSince72 said:

    @Cinorjer said:
    Boy does that question depend on a lot of things. Is Tibetan Buddhism counted as one school, when there are at least 4 schools under that column sometimes at war with each other? And Japanese Zen has either two main or dozens of schools, depending on how you want to define them.

    If you ask how many different sects or churches there are in Christianity, it depends on if you want to count all the little churches started by one guy with a Bible or just the main categories.

    There are ALOT of main categories, even within the main categories of the Christian church, to say nothing of the dude with a bible that starts a church...really ALOT. I guess it should not be surprising that there are so many sects or schools in other religions.

    Would you guys say that mahayana buddhism is a good starting point for study? I am open to suggestions.

    Wow. Start with the life and ministry of Buddha I guess, and the core teaching of the Noble Truths from his famous sermon. Then when you get an idea of where Buddhism came from, you can sample the various schools through the writings that make up their libraries.

  • BreathingSince72BreathingSince72 Vacaville, CA USA New

    I have a couple of books. One is called the Teaching of Buddha (Buddhist Bible) and was printed in Tokyo prior to my birth. It seems to have a good amount of well organized and interesting information. The other is the Dhammapada translated by Ananda Maitreya, forward written by Thich Nhat Hanh. The first book is divided into three section with several sub chapters. The first section is: Buddha. The second section is: Dharma. The third section is:The Way of Practice. I am guessing this book is a pretty good starting point.

    Thank you @Cinorjer.

  • BreathingSince72BreathingSince72 Vacaville, CA USA New

    @how said:
    @BreathingSince72

    I think one of the most interesting starting points in a study of the Dharma has more to do with how we can manifest any of those studies than with brain filler.

    As far as which of the various Buddhist schools or lineages or sects to start with, I have found value in them all.......... so I would simply let your interests dictate the directions of your explorations.

    @how, I really appreciate your guidance. It is solid, sound and makes sense. I think we all deal with enough brain filler in a day. I hope to keep it simple. :)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @BreathingSince72 said:
    Does the word Dharma represent the path or acts?

    Perhaps this will help you to understand what the "Dharma" means/is...

  • Traditionally there is both Dharma, the universal Truth of reality, and dharma, the set of teachings passed down and elaborated in the sutras and teachings of the Masters that help you realize this big Truth. Lower case reflects the upper case, but we have the whole "finger pointing at the moon" thing to illustrate the difference. Many people don't bother distinguishing between the two using the convention and you figure out which one they mean in context.

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